Susannah is an old friend who I originally met in clubbing days. How things have changed! She now runs Hello Yellow, a creative art and textiles business near Melbourne, and our little ones catch up over FaceTime. Over ten years later she remains one of the most stylish women I’ve ever met, and is an eternal creative inspo with her three little ones and her business Hello Yellow Store. I always love to visit Susie’s amazing home when I am back in Melbourne, it is jammed with creative inspiration and history and captures the best sunsets.
Tell me in your own words about being a creative mum?
Being a creative mum is very fulfilling as it creates an outlet that is truly yours. It inspires your children to explore their creativity, which is fantastic and in turn their drawings influence artwork. As Holly proudly says when asked what her mum does she says “my mum makes cushions!”
Who makes up your family?
My family is me, my husband Michael and our three children Holly, aged six, Tate, aged three and a half, Frederick, aged six months and our dogs Hal + Stella.
What is your creative outlet?
I started Hello Yellow while on maternity leave with Tate so I could continue being creative. I design images and products that are inspired by my love of fashion, colour and pattern. Hello Yellow was born out of a need to surround myself (and my kids rooms) with more than just pretty pastels. I love leopard print and I wanted to see it in their space as well! Its so great that the whole idea of translating adult patterns, colours and textures to childrens clothing and interiors has taken off the way it has. At the moment Hello Yellow is producing kids art prints and one of a kind screen printed cushions that are also hand painted and hand drawn. It is a labour of love that’s for sure, especially when the big wholesale orders are coming in and I’m up until 1am sewing!!
How and when did you come to start it?
After studying Fine Arts at Melbourne University, my working life included desktop publishing, visual merchandising and then finally working in the wholesale side of the fashion industry. Before children I always customised t-shirts for my nephews and had always planned to start something of my own in the future. While I was pregnant with Tate I studied Textile Design at Melbourne School of Fashion, it was after this that prompted me to seriously start on my own childrens focused product design. I saw a gap in the market and I went for it!
For the last 3 years Hello Yellow has been a side project to an online business I was running, however it has not been until 2014 that I started exploring it more and giving it more love and attention. The addition of cushions to the range has definitely pushed the company to the next level and allowed to me start working on the business full time.
What does it mean to you and how does it make you feel?
Hello Yellow is my extra child, I love it, nurture it and what to see it succeed.
What the hardest part about it is – is it managing the kids or something else?
At present the hardest part is time. With 3 young children under 6, finding quality time is a struggle. Being so time poor does make it harder to get the work done, source new materials, all the while trying not to let it effect my creativity. After all that is the reason I started the business in the first place!
What or who is your inspo?
My inspiration is derived from various sources: colour wise it can be a collection of nail polishes, photographic images – fashion, interiors, magazine art direction. My children are also a huge influence in their quirky ways. The quirky and off beat will always appeal to me!